There are no words in time and space to offer for the devastating discovery of the bodies of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel. Their murders and those who rejoice view their deaths with political purpose and their lives as nothing more than rats to be exterminated. Because of the politics, because of painful emotions, the divine dignity of these three young men was stripped away and their kidnappers annihilated them.
What truth can possibly comfort us?
A primary truth that might approach comforting us is to know that our perception of this tragedy as an evil crime is reality. There is no way at all that these three young men, nor their families, nor the existence of the state of Israel, caused the pain of those who wish Israel would not exist. The basis of monotheism is that there is only One cause, and that is Hashem. Through the history of the entire existence of the Medina and the Jewish People, with all our sufferings, the Holocaust, the pogroms, the expulsions and more, is only One Source. From our perspective in time and space, without Torah to guide us, we truly would be in the dark, at the whim of our negatively charged emotions, falling into the grip of bad choices when we feel disempowered or experience loss – falling under the dominion of human nature with no other recourse to search for another way to understand, a higher understanding that can bring holiness and light. Hashem gave us the Torah and revealed Himself at Har Sinai. There is nothing in the world but the Glory of Hashem, the Soul of the World Whose Thought and Utterances create our reality. Everyone, Jew and non-Jew, is responsible to conduct ourselves in accordance with His Will as given in Torah or the Noahide laws. Hashem set the entire course of events from the beginning of time into motion and we are accountable for our choices when presented with circumstances designed to reveal our allegiance to Him, our commitment to serve Him with love and awe, naase v’nisma.
Another primary truth that may comfort us is to know that these deaths are also from Hashem. There is no answer to our question of why that we like to heal us in time and space. Asking why does not help us. There is nothing that will restore the past and bring back these young men. That tragedy is eternal. Those who committed it will hopefully be brought to justice. There is nothing that will fill the hole left by the terrible demise of these young men. The fabric of life, the families, the whole country, the Jewish people, grieve.
Anger. Pain. Tears. Outrage. Tremendous suffering.
What we can ask ourselves is what does Hashem want from me in this moment, the same question that is the basis of our service in every moment of our lives. What does Hashem want from me THIS moment upon hearing this bitter news?
With us in this suffering is the Shechina. In all the world there is nothing but Hashem, and He is involved in every tear, every heartache, every cry. Hashem is thinking of us and uttering every detail into existence and is the place in which the drama of our lives and this tragedy and all of history takes place. He is here. Suffering. Patiently. Yearning for us to identify within us a way for Him to help us. He loves us. He gives us free will. We are His Children. His Chosen People. Nishmas Am Yisrael. But He creates the world and gives the choice to have awe of Hashem or not into free willed choice.
Hashem is so big He can create a reality with so many levels above what we experience in time and space. He sent us into this world to have a relationship with us. Our happiness, real happiness, is built into the soul when we make effort to serve Hashem. There is no other real happiness, although sometimes our happiness appears to come from this world. In every moment, we thank Hashem, for the air, for the food, for the good health. He is the Source. But He is not a vending machine. We are here to serve Hashem according to Torah, His Thought and Will. When we involve ourselves with His Thoughts, we rise above our thoughts. When we generate emotions and speech and deeds based on Torah and emulating Hashem, we bring His Torah through the vessel of the body He gives us in time and space and utter words that soar with love and awe up to the heavenly realms, an echo of His Will that gives Him Nachas.
Until we understand that doing so is the source of happiness, we are trapped in blame and shame, in a molecule of desire for happiness that causes discontent with those we perceive as withholding it from us. Inherently that strips away everyone’s divine dignity and if we are not careful we succumb to believing that our only resource is to destroy those we believe are responsible without remembering to turn to Hashem, the primary Cause. We can bring them to justice. To destroy what is responsible WE have to destroy within us false hopes for our happiness and bring back to truth the proper locale of our happiness, which is service of Hashem. Perhaps if we seek to have the relationship with Hashem where we are able to experience happiness in His service there would be no need for Him to inflict bitterness upon us designed to shepherd us back toward the fulfillment of our role as Nishmas Am Yisrael in our service to Him by following Torah and having sincere relationship with Him. Perhaps we might think of activities that we can do today to reveal tzelem elokim and help us rise to a level above time and space to an infinite path of holiness. And may our efforts to do so return to Hashem His first born child, Nishmas Am Yisrael, and may He speedily send a new light into the world.
What causes us anxiety universally is fear of harm. Our imagination regarding where that harm could come from scans personal history for validation. And our self-referencing instinct to defend ourselves activates. Whatever action we may come up with becomes our reaction. Our reaction is consistent with our imagination as we have built up the facts. Yet we may not actually be in the realm of truth.
Let’s bring Hashem into the picture.
Our survival is up to Hashem. Yes we need to take proper precautions but most of our anxieties are perceived threats and not true threats, especially to the degree we believe we are threatened. To comprehend deeply how this ordinary daily or even hourly occurrence can take place is crucial if we are to bring together truth and our actions/reactions.
Hashem fills the world and thinks up our soul. Thus we are here because of two actions of Hashem, Hashem’s thoughts and Hashem’s utterances. Hashem’s utterances include all of nature, which appears to have many powers, independent entities, all to bring sensations to our perceptions triggering our neurocircuitry. Nations form alliances and threaten the state of Israel, even as this is being written. There is only Hashem. None other. Everything is from Hashem, just and good. That is truth. But that is hardly our reaction, nor is it intended to be the reaction based on being alive in bodies in time and space.
Our reaction thrusts each of us into a place of choice. Will we remember to bring Hashem into the picture and resolve within our mind to heart reactions that everything is from Hashem and is just and good? And what difference does it make if my mind to heart reaction accomplishes this inner peace?
Outer peace depends exclusively on the degree each of us takes the time to bring ourselves to inner peace. When we grind our reactions into dust, Hashem Himself is present. And that is His Desire, to be in time and space through our pulling ourselves back and being vessels to shine His Light.
Scanning and experiencing anxiety out of legitimate fear is a normal reaction. It is natural. And the natural world is under the dominion of the yetzer hara and is designed to present us with tests the resolution of which determines our eternity. When Hashem is concealed, we are troubled thinking it is up to us. But when we realize He is near and we see our mistakes and sins, it is terrifying. We far more like to see ourselves as independent, powerful and capable of running our lives in a secular natural way. When we are afraid to be afraid of Hashem, which means that we give in to cynicism rather than awe of Hashem, we are left with culling resolution of our dependency needs from the natural order that Hashem gives dominion over to the yetzer hara. Everything we would then do remains stuck in the kelipas, the garments, over the Soul of Everything..
What courage do we need and how do we obtain that courage, to choose awe of Hashem when we are in a matter that is triggering fear? Remembering that all there is to fear is Hashem places that fear in a perspective that can help. Why? Because we know our survival depends on Hashem and He Alone runs the world including every circumstance and trigger for our thoughts and emotions. We have free will in the area of fearing Hashem. Do we understand fear of Hashem as a pathway that can help? And even if we aspire to it, in the moment, will we or will we not avail ourselves of the tremendous elevation possible when we overlay our lives with fear of Hashem?
The truth is we are confused. And in that moment of confusion, Hashem, Who is One, tolerates our confusion, He bears the discomfort of us not knowing with clarity that He is One, our Father Who loves us. This is the story since we ingested from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We are confused and Hashem sustains us every single moment, just as He sustains us from the moment of birth, so He sustains us even at this moment of confusion, waiting patiently for us to grind our confusion down into clarity that He is One.
Hashem is patient with us in our condition of anxiety, of confusion, of uncertainty with no ability to really know what will be the next second or what is in the hearts and minds of other people who we may perceive as threats or as sources of pain or as treasures we fear to lose. Hashem is patient with us awaiting us to remember that He is the Source, the Only Source, the Only Power Who gives us life in this lower world in order for us to join together His Thought, our soul, with His Utterance, our natural reaction, in an atmosphere of loving Hashem for subjecting Himself to this suffering and confusion just to give us the opportunity to dissolve His energy from His Utterances back into the His energy of the Ein Sof, His Thoughts, unifying His Name and opening a channel into time and space where our confusion blocked His Thoughts from flowing through our hearts and into our speech and deeds.
When His Thoughts, which are all good including good in our eyes, flows through our hearts, we experience calmness, clarity, inner well-being. When we grind ourselves into dust, He can be seen, and we enjoy the only true pleasure there is, which is being that vessel to reveal. Believing this to be true, we immediately bear the discomfort of all the confusion around us, despite how deliberately organized and crafted with wisdom the attacks and accusations toward Israel may seem, and we affirm in our speech and deed that there is only One Wisdom and only One Source to direct our trust and invest our love and awe.
People, nations, natural disasters in the perspective of being hashgachah pratis totally under the dominion of Hashem despite it coming through the yetzer hara connects us in thought to a higher world, a world where Hashem is NOT concealed. In the world of thought, we can connect to a higher world where through prayer and hisbodidus we CAN discern that we are inseparable from Him. With that slight elevation above the wildly overwhelming nature of our lives, we have the courage to bear the discomfort of the confusion in order to acknowledge our Father with love and awe. Doing so above our natural reactions is an act of emulating Hashem Who bears the burden of our confusion and we show rachamim on the Shechina trapped in His Utterances appearing as nature. We glue ourselves to Him and spare ourselves the travails of thinking there is anything other than Hashem. We can actively bring awareness of Hashem’s Unity to our consciousness. We can each time we fall back into natural forces and lower fear repeat this process. Each time we do, we reveal His Light. And that is the solution for all the world, for Hashem’s Glory to be seen in every atom of earth, wind, fire and water.
When we overcome our nature, the ill effects of unrectified elements of water/desire, fire/arrogance, wind/flightiness, and earth/sadness, laziness that impact us when our perceptions experience danger, Hashem’s light fills these elements water/Torah, fire/passion, wind/proper utterances, and earth/solid representation of His Glory. Hashem desires to be in this world.
What would happen if we courageously trust in Hashem? Might our conquering our inner elements of nature, pulling back our triggered reactions through the hard work of bringing Hashem into the picture, provide the revelation of His Glory that could lead to the ultimate redemption? Are we willing to do the verbal introspection to grind our nature in order to do so?
May we be inspired to seek the courage to turn the natural conditions we experience into channels that unify and sanctify Hashem’s Name.
A beautiful understanding to bring into our hearts is that we are inseparable from Hashem.
Hashem sends us into a world where He is concealed yet embedded within us is unconscious awareness of Him.
Our mouth with its ability to speak is a precious treasure. Through speech we can do the work of identifying the confusion and nullifying what blocks us from the experience of devekus.
We have within the higher soul an ability to heal the elements water fire air and earth that we bitul. We can bring into our consciousness from the unconscious Hashem’s characteristics because we are inseparable and here on the mission He has sent us. Like bone marrow transplant, we can infuse His Glory into the natural world elements through our prayers and hisbodidus redirecting energy from the beria spoken into existence by Hashem with our pleadings out loud while yearning to reveal His Glory.
The vibration we create through our effort to do so is the basis of our esteem. There is only Hashem albeit He is hidden from sight. But He is not hidden from our sincere verbal hunt for Him, to find the place of truth that we know we are inseparable.
May our searching for Him create light that will free the captives, the three boys and all of us who need further devekus with Hashem our Father .
Please listen to Rav Itamar Shwartz, author of Bilvavi Mishkan Evna, speaking regarding the avoda of today, this month Tammuz.
Tamuz – Inner Sight
Tamuz and Av are the two most tragic months from the whole year. Chazal state that five tragedies took place during the month of Tamuz. These months require a lot of thought, and we need to find how Hashem is here with us even in these trying months. It seems as if nothing good can be said of these two months, which are full of sad events.
The power of the month of Tamuz, (according to some opinions of the sefarim hakedoshim), is “sight”. There is physical sight, and there is an inner power of sight – this is also identified as einei haseichel, “eyes of the intellect”. Just like our physical eyes can see both good and bad, so can our inner sight see both good and bad. Our Avodah is to learn how to see the good.
From the time Chavah set her eyes upon the eitz hadaas, which was a mixture of good and evil, all things which we see are a mixture of good and evil. Nothing we see is totally good, and nothing we see is totally good. It is always a mix.
There are people who were naturally born with a very positive nature and focus on the good in everything, while others are negative toward everything and only see the bad in something. Chazal state that those who have a “good eye” are the students of Avraham Avinu, while those who have a “bad eye” are students of Bilaam, so we must strive to have a “good eye”.
Ever since the sin of Adam, everything has become a mixture of good and bad. If we look at the good, we are being students of Avraham, but if we only see the bad in something, we are being negative, students of the wicked Bilaam. We can’t see only good or only bad, though, because in the current state of affairs, there is no such thing. Everything is a mix. Therefore, we need to see the good – and bad – in everything, and then what we need to do is connect to the good in it.
We will try to explain, with the help of Hashem, how we can come to think about only the good in things.
The First Step – Take Apart Everything
Since everything is a mixture, we need to learn how to see what each thing we come across is made up of. We need to see how much good is in something, and how much bad is in it. Everything has some good in it and some bad in it, and we need to get used to thinking into the good parts and the bad parts in something. Take something apart, and think: What is the good here, and what is the bad here? Take a piece of paper and make two rows, one row labeled “Good” on the right side and the other row labeled “Bad” on the left side. Write down all the good things you can find in a situation, and all the bad things you see, and line them against each other.
You will discover as you get used to this that there are things which you thought were totally good that have really have some bad in them also, and there are things which you thought were totally bad that actually has something good in them.
Now comes a danger which you should watch out for, though. When you realize that a situation is mostly bad, you know that you should keep away from it. But the tricky part is when you discover something good in something which also has bad in it, and you might be tempted to connect to it, because you see good in it. But although you see good in something bad, this doesn’t mean you should connect to it.
There are some situations which we cannot choose otherwise, so there is nothing we can do to get out of them, even if there is bad in them. But there are situations in life which we can choose to connect to or not. It is these situations where we view them as good, or not?
What we need to do is to somehow connect to the good in every situation. The question is, how? If there is mostly bad in a situation, even if you have found some good in it, how can you connect yourself to it and feel that it is somehow good, when you know quite well that there is bad here also?
When You Can’t Find Anything Good
This is the hard part. There are difficult times we go through in which we can’t seem to find anything good in the situation. When we go through a difficult time, we must bear in mind that our difficult times are just like everything else in life that is made up of both good and bad. If there is more bad than good, how do we get by a situation? How do we deal with situations that are mostly bad? True, there is some good to everything, even situations that are mostly bad. But if it is mostly bad, how indeed do we get by these situations?
What one has to do in such a situation is to find the strongest good point in this situation, and that will shed an entirely new approach to the situation. Let us give some more background to how this works.
Everything in creation has in it a root and its branches. There is always one root good point in every situation possible, and although there are many branches that stem from it which are bad, the root is always good. There are actually 287 branches which can stem from one single root, so a person can find 287 negative things to say about any situation! But if a person finds the root of a situation – if he finds the root good point – then all the “branches” lose their vitality, because they have no bad root with which to feed on.
Thus, if you want to see how any situation is good, no matter how bad it is, you need to find the root of the situation. The root is always good, and this knocks away all the negative things you see in the situation.
We will try to explain how we can put this into practice. These are really very deep matters, but they are the root of how to live a true, inner kind of life.
What It Means To “See Good”
There are two approaches in Avodas Hashem in how a person can become more positive. One way is to think positive thoughts all the time, and when you think positive, your good thoughts turn the situation to always be good.
Another way is to find the good contained in every situation. This doesn’t simply mean, however, for a person to try to find the one good point in any situation; that alone will not be enough, because there are many other bad points in the situation which would just cancel it out. If that is the person’s thinking, then one is still saying that there is some bad here, and he is just admitting that there is some good here also. This is not the depth of the matter. The real definition of it is to find how the root of this situation is good, and that this root good point makes the entire situation good.
An Example From Chazal
How do we know this is true? We can give a very good example. The destruction of the Beis Hamikdash, as we know, was a very great tragedy, a truly sad situation. On one hand, we must mourn the destruction and all the tragedies it caused, but on the other hand, Chazal also brought words of comfort for us. How did Chazal find comfort over the destruction?
There is a statement of Chazal that Hashem was so angry with the Jewish people that He really wanted to destroy them, but instead He unleashed His anger on the stones and wood of the Beis Hamikdash. In this, however, Chazal did not find comfort. This fact alone wasn’t enough for Chazal to find solace. There is a different fact about the destruction, however, in which Chazal found comfort in. Chazal state that on the day of the destruction, Moshiach was born. This was how Chazal found the positive in the tragedy of the destruction.
The fact that Hashem took out His anger on stones and wood doesn’t bring out the comfort in the situation, because this doesn’t show how the destruction was a good thing. It just shows us some good amongst the bad. But the fact that the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash heralded the birth of Moshiach is something that shows us how the entire tragedy, at its root, was good, because now we saw that the destruction was a cause to begin the final redemption.
From here we can see that when Chazal wanted to find how even the worst situation can be good, they didn’t find comfort in the fact that there was one good point to say about the situation. That alone was not a comfort. What Chazal found positive about the situation was that the root of the entire sad situation was good, and that was what is able to comfort us.
Working On Seeing The Good
To work on seeing how every situation is really good its root, a person still needs siyata d’shamaya (Heavenly assistance), tefillos (prayer), and hisbonenus (reflection)to be able to see how every situation is really good. Anyone can split up every matter into how it is good and bad, and then he can see how the root of it is always good. Then he can connect himself to the root good point of any situation.
Applying This To Current Events
The words here are not only true on a general basis, but they apply as well on a more specific level.
As we speak now, Eretz Yisrael is going through trying times. Three young boys have been kidnapped by terrorists, and we have not yet merited to see them return home. The entire country is worried for them, and this appears to be such a bad situation that it doesn’t seem that any good can be said about it.
Yet, if you think about it, there is some good in this situation. This situation has revealed so much Ahavas Yisrael amongst Jews from all walks of life. All Jews are united together in prayer for the boys, and everyone has put aside all their differences. Another good point is the chessed that this situation has caused people to increase in.
These are some good points about the situation, yet one can still argue that the bad of this situation far outweighs the good. For this, we can find the root of the situation, which is good, and that will show us how this entire “bad” situation is really good.
That root good point is that the kidnapping shows us about our own situation – we are also “kidnapped” amongst the seventy non-Jewish nations of the world. We are Hashem’s children, and we are kidnapped by the nations. This situation can show us how much we long to be rescued by Hashem from the nations who want to destroy us.
The situation shows us the depth of our exile, and how much we should want to come out of it. It can show us that we shouldn’t only daven for the children who were captured – we should daven for the entire Klal Yisrael, who live in darkness, surrounded by people who wish to destroy all the Jews and who have no value whatsoever for a Jew’s life. It is unfortunate that we have to use the three captured boys as a moshol (parable) to our own situation, but we need to use it as a way to get us to daven for all of Klal Yisrael, who are kidnapped in this exile. We are kidnapped from our spirituality, because of the effect that the non-Jews have had on us throughout this dark exile.
May the boys return home, and may all of us merit the redemption. That is how this situation is good, at its root – it can stir up in us a realization to daven for Klal Yisrael, that He take us out of this dark exile – speedily, in our days, Amen.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH THE RAV
QUESTION: What exactly is the “root” of all good that we must find? Isn’t Hashem the root of everything, who is always good?
ANSWER: Very good question. Yes, it is true that Hashem is the root of all good, but the question is, what is that root that Hashem is trying to show us in every situation? We need to find that good root of every situation. We know that Hashem is the source of everything, and that is clear. But we need to see in our own personal life how we see how the root of every possible situation is somehow good.
QUESTION: If I see bad in a situation, how do I focus on the good? Do I have to get myself to see a situation how others see it?
ANSWER: Good question. It depends why something is bothering you and not other people. Sometimes there is something that bothers you that really shouldn’t, and you are just overreacting. This kind of problem stems from simply being negative, which is a problem that stems from our nefesh habehamis (lower, animal layer of our soul). But if it’s a problem that not only bothers you but it bothers other as well, it can be because the negative far outweighs the positive.
QUESTION: What is the source for how there are 287 negative things to say about every situation?
ANSWER: The source is from the Arizal in Parshas Beraishis, who says that the word “merachefes” (blowing) has in it the letters reish, pei, and ches, which altogether has the numerical value of 288. If a person has the root, then these three letters become the word “perach”, which means “flower.” If he doesn’t find the root, then the letters become “chafar”, which means “dug under”, a reference to being underneath the tree.
QUESTION: If someone is in a difficult marriage, how can he\she work on seeing the positive in this situation? Should he just focus on the nachas he\she has from the children?
ANSWER: Take apart all the factors going on in your marriage, and see everything that’s going on. This can take a few months. You will then discover much good in your marriage, and then, you should daven to Hashem that he help you find the root good point in your marriage.
QUESTION: How do you know what the “root” of the situation is, and what the “branch” of the situation is?
ANSWER: If you know your soul well, you can identify better what the root is.
QUESTION: If a person doesn’t see anything negative about a situation, is he supposed to think about the negative? For example, if a person doesn’t feel pain at a situation going on in Klal Yisrael that he is supposed to feel pain about, is he supposed to feel that pain, as part of the process of seeing the bad and good?
ANSWER: It’s hard to answer this question, because it depends on each person and what his situation is in life. There are some people are very stressed out in their life, and it will be detrimental to them to work on seeing what’s bad in our situations, because this will only add to their stress. Only a person who is capable of doing this emotionally should work on it.
QUESTION: The Rov said that a person should write down the good points on one side and the bad points on the other side. What can person do if he doesn’t like to write, and it’s not practical?
ANSWER: Type it on a computer. Or, sit with a close friend and do it, and you will find it much easier to write it down.
QUESTION: How do we tell this to people who are secular? How do we explain this concept to them?
ANSWER: Even frum people who keep Torah and mitzvos have to work on this. In today’s generation, although we keep the mitzvos, most people aren’t connected to their pnimiyus. Although every Jew is good in general, and there are some people today who are amazingly connected to their pnimiyus, most Jews today, even frum Jews, are weak in their emunah, and they have to work on this.
QUESTION: But what we can tell secular people, who aren’t asking on how they can improve themselves?
ANSWER: The class here was for people who keep Torah and mitzvos, who want to work on themselves. If a person doesn’t ask how he can work on himself, then he doesn’t have our questions, and he doesn’t seek answers. The material here is thus not for people who aren’t seeking to improve themselves, because my answers here are only for those who are asking on how they work on themselves.
QUESTION: What practical point can the Rov suggest we work on every day from now on, in order to improve ourselves?
ANSWER: Every day, seek to become a more truthful person.
This class is the last in the “Avodas HaChodesh” series, which began in Av 5753. The next series for women, “Hisbodedus: Reaching Your Inner Silence”, will be a 10-part series given once a month beginning in Av 5754. To join, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
A two year old discovers the power of saying no. NO! What amazing power that triggers. “Drink your milk!” “No!” Books are written about this!!! How a child will develop depends on the relationship through which we shape and help the child to mature and grow. And people do mature and grow into adulthood. And people do wield positions where they are making decisions that affect other people in important ways…we have Presidents, we have CEOs, we have Generals and many more titles of authority that also hold power.
Every one of us has the ultimate power, a way to affect our lives beyond any title or human circle of influence. The ultimate power is to create positive influence through choices that connect us to the Source of all that is uttered into existence. Understanding that there is One, a Source that is the only Source of power, Who desires a relationship with us, Who wants our heart, is the beginning of the removal of suffering and bitterness in the world.
We can become experts, as did the Nazis, in dominating, removing dignity, and destroying life. It is no compliment to be chosen by Hashem to be so revealed in one’s evil and faults as to be “hired” to enforce His Will in bringing something beyond human understanding. When we see the devastation of people willingly murdering others, which we see today as well, it looks to us like power. Nevertheless, when the question is, did such an act bring happiness, that same person may not be in touch with anything connected to the actual feeling of happiness. It might be something of happiness trapped in achieving a lower worldly goal. When Moshiach comes, it will not be on the list of things we want to show to our credit, for which our eternal life will be based.
Yet each of us has that impossibly persistent self-referencing message that tries to protect us, although it is often misguided in its means, starting from our first NO when we are two, trying to achieve our goals and dreams, trying to secure our dependency needs and happiness. We can learn the best of this, the smartest of that, the cheapest of all, the tastiest of everything, and we can feel accomplished and it can look as though things are just great. But inside, where is the happiness?
There is a place that feels like it is our insides and then there is a place that inside of us that IS our essence. This is the best way to understand our two inclinations. The problem is mostly that we don’t know what the sound of our essence is unless we learn Torah and search to bring the messages of Torah into our minds so we can bring them into our hearts.
What do we see around us? Are those in positions that have the power to affect others happy in their essence? If they have only built lives based on the place that feels like our insides, it could be they have accepted a certain cynicism about life and have achieved a level of contentment. Truly I think this is very common. Yet when the circumstances in the world begin to rattle as they are today, how do we take our investment in reaching goals that feel like our insides and re-invest them in our essence?
When we are willing to understand our functioning in being able to declare that Hashem is One, we make the necessary shift to remembering Hashem and Torah. In one moment, a person who is ready to is enabled to acknowledge the Shechina in all of our powers and circumstances, for better or worse, that feel to us like our insides. Simply by making a choice to see our essence as our effort and sincere desire to reveal Hashem’s Glory through our hearts instead, we align our thoughts with Torah and Hashem and lift ourselves from the entrappings of the many layers of garments that cover our essence.
When we re-direct all energy released from self-referencing with love in our heart for Hashem Who is One, a channel of bracha to flow through us and into the world opens. We are not separate from one another. My success is not your downfall. Your accomplishments do not diminish my potential. What we each struggle to accomplish represents uniqueness. However, Hashem expects each of us to make this ultimate mesiras nefesh, to recognize that He is One. It is not a compliment from Hashem if He gives us a role of inflicting damage upon another. We need to take careful stock to see where we may be doing something that we think is good which in fact is something that we will regret when Moshiach comes. How do we know if what we think we are doing is good or not in His eyes?
The Chofetz Chaim and the Chason Ish both took time out every day for hisbodidus, verbal introspection. The Chofetz Chaim spent two hours every day in seclusion, speaking out loud to Hashem, in order to be able to understand what feels like insides and what is essence. Without hisbodidus, without getting very quiet and opening up honestly to Hashem, the only good goals we will aspire to are those of what feels like our insides.
And where will our happiness come from in a world gone mad? How will we protect ourselves from adopting standards required to maintain a falling morality? What feels like our insides will downgrade along with the movements of society in time and space unless we anchor ourselves to Torah, gluing ourselves to Hashem’s Attributes of Mercy, getting quiet enough to find our essence, and identifying our esteem with effort to reveal Hashem’s Attributes of Mercy.
And it all comes down to our self-preserving reactions of hate, what we take exception to when we feel insulted, overlooked, abandoned or annihilated. That trigger to our brain causes us to experience a lack which without Torah and Hashem we believe to be worthy of retaliation, reaction, pro-action or goal setting. Nevertheless, satisfaction is not happiness.
There is only One. It feels like two. It is our highest functioning to understand the design. With free will, we choose to declare Shema Yisrael, Hashem is One. He alone provides everything. In Hashem is our trust. Each time we experience a sense of our natural existence, we have standing to unify His Name and create brachas for the world. Let that become our new natural. And may we soon see a new light in the world.
Let us hate hatred. Let us burn out thinking we are what feels like our insides in order to rise to a level where we realize our essence is tzelem elokim and we can reveal His Glory. Let us burn out thinking we have independent existence in our souls and rise to a level where we realize we have uniqueness to draw bracha into the one soul, Nishmas Am Yisrael, to effect a repair upon that soul that we alone came here to fix. Let us burn out thinking that the advice of our self-referencing self-preserving is wisdom and rise to a level where we realize that the wisdom of the Torah is the only truth upon which to build with our imagination if we desire true pleasure in this world and the next.
May we be zocheh to redemption bahava
Realize that our bitterness is because it is not possible to find within time and space what we need to be happy without bringing Hashem into the picture
When we come into the world, we are quite aware of the change in circumstances. We go from being totally nurtured without the need to communicate to being in a world where we depend on imperfect parents for our lives to continue. Babies cry and get angry, Hashem why did you send me away, so deep into this world? When the soul is sent into this world it is told to be righteous and not wicked, meaning that the layers over us, which are important in order to be able to exist in this lower world, conceal the reality that the only Being in the world is Hashem Who is the Source of our life, our eternity, and our happiness and survival.
Realize that Hashem wants us to speak in relationship with Him even though we cannot detect Him easily
When Adom and Chava were one form, they knew the other’s thoughts. Hashem decided that is was not good for Adom to be alone and He separated them. Now they became two and had to speak to each other to communicate.
Hashem is the giver and Nishmas Am Yisrael is the receiver. Bringing what Hashem desires in time and space requires us to comprehend a great deal about our existence. Hashem wants to be revealed through our speech and deeds so that He can be seen in time and space. We are here to receive from Hashem, but the category of what He desires to give us is a far greater pleasure and a more eternal joy than the desires that we see based on a time and space picture, a picture of survival that includes every day concerns such as health, money, a sense of productivity and more. While these basic needs are important, our success with reaching these goals is in Hashem’s Hands. Thus our effort to attain them must include Him in the picture as the Source.
The most important insight is to understand how everything that seems like our lives, e.g. our bodies, our egos, our homes, our environment, have many qualities that we are familiar with, more familiar even than the tzelem elokim within us, is nothing more than a garment. Understanding that what we believe is natural is really only a garment can help us attain true happiness and put an end to hatred, bitterness, jealousy, and fear!.
Through our existence, through our pain, we have the opportunity to recognize that by viewing everything as good, we have a perspective that can bring the energy animating all the pain into service of Hashem. Because we experience a suffering, we have standing to bring bracha through that very channel, when we identify our esteem based on our effort to reveal Hashem’s glory. When we identify our esteem with goals to release the Shechina that suffers patiently in our suffering, we complete something that only we can do, which is to acknowledge with love in our hearts that Hashem Is One. He alone is the Source Who does only what is just and good in a two world picture. Accepting this dimension, which Torah teaches us, realigns us with Hashem’s thoughts. Our anger or bitterness is merely a roadsign reminding us that our happiness in serving Hashem has been trapped by worldly concerns and it is for us to do a repair, to speak to Hashem that He is One, with consciousness, emunah, and purpose in freeing what energy we have trapped so that it can open a channel to bring blessing instead.
Continuing in relationship with Hashem, to draw the energy through our hearts and souls to bring it into our speech and deeds in a revealed way. Using our unique talents and gifts from Hashem, we are able to reveal His Attributes, tolerating insult, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of the confusion of mind we all have, forgiving and casting sins into the sea. When we choose actions that reveal His Attributes, we literally are giving Hashem a place to operate from within our hearts. This fulfills His Purpose for creating the world, to be seen in time and space, and He gives us eternal life and we experience the great pleasure, happiness in serving Hashem, in its true form.